What do you think about the probability of Starbucks moving into Kentish Town?
Rumour has it that the predatory US mega chain, which owns over 650 stores in the UK, has been looking around three sites: one, just up from George’s Barbers on the cusp of Kentish Town/ Fortess Road, and two others in what is now Sam’s Chicken and the delightful London Bead Company, the fine needlecraft store dating back to 1990.
Readers may remember the heated debate before Xmas on both sides at the opening of Space NK in Primrose Hill and the Costa in Tufnell Park. In the discussion that followed the article, readers slugged it out over the value of both independents and chains in NW1 and NW5. “Only the shareholders will benefit from this,” said indie shop owner Phil Cowan, “not the local economy.”
“How many people (not just in Primrose Hill) who moan about the loss of ‘independent’ shops actually shop in them?” asked Tim, whilst Nead added: “I’m all for Costa in Tufnell Park, even Archway has one! It’s about time the area had a shake up, too many shops open and close around there.”Dudismo made his point clearly too: “Before calling for ‘chain free’ zones, which are not going to happen in any case, people should consider what happened in Kentish Town when Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer left KT many years ago, apparently with the council’s blessing. Within a few years we’d lost a butcher’s, a fishmonger and two greengrocer’s as shoppers moved their allegiance to Camden Town.”
Yet it goes without saying how passionate we are about the finest independent coffee outlets in the area, places like Bean About Town, Doppio, Wine Cellar, Mario’s, Houspresso, The Fields Beneath, Arancini et all. And it seems you lot are too: in the 2012 coffee awards they happily received votes in droves.
So how strongly do you feel about the potential arrival of Starbucks in K-Town, either way? And would you petition against it?